Belfast Telegraph

Tired of politics? Grab some sodas and go see men in tights...

By Geoff McGimpsey

I’m getting old. I must be. When I was in my 20s I could take as much politics as I wanted. I could stomach all-night bouts of heavy-duty politics without any trouble whatsoever.

But now I just can’t take it like I used to – I’m suffering a major politics hang-over.


With that in mind, Conor Ryan at Conor’s Commentary has come up with a cure. The key to escape is contained in just two words: ‘Robin Hood’.


He reckons “the grimy filth of peasant life in Nottingham” is a great escape from the grimy filth of Westminster.


“It benefits from a cracking and witty script, great Pembrokeshire scenery and marvellous acting,” he says. And the franchise also benefits from being tee-d up for a blatant sequel. Here’s hoping Part II arrives sometime around March next year (just after the conclusion of the next Assembly election).


In the meantime, SDLP South Belfast MLA Conall McDevitt will be doing all he can to keep the profile up going into that election. He’s using his blog at O’Conall Street to drum up some interest in an internship he’s offering students this summer. Great idea, but my advice to students is know your limits.


Conall blogs: “You will... have the opportunity to experience online campaigning first hand and be part of some exciting campaigns like the one to support my private members bill to reduce speed limits to 20mph on all urban residential streets.”


Racy stuff.


Elsewhere, the Titanic Quarter area is expected to see massive development and population growth in the coming years (lots of students, new residents and business are on the way). This soon-to-be community will require some pastoral care... so step forward Chaplain Chris Bennett!


According to his blog, The Dock Church in the Titanic Quarter , Chris has the unenviable task of building a church without a congregation. Which is a bit of a challenge, but he’s undeterred. Last Friday’s Belfast Telegraph frontpage scooped that buyers of apartments are ‘flat broke’, and some may be forced to withdraw from sales. This story might have dampened the enthusiasm of a lesser mortal – but not Chris.


“Belfast deserves more Good News – in every sense – so hopefully these gloomy headlines won’t be the end of the story!” Best of luck Chris.


And best of luck too to Manuel the Waiter at Well Done Fillet . He’s trying to persuade the public to focus on the definitely-not-totally-made-up ‘ National Waiters Day’. (It’s on Friday May 21 in case you were wondering.)


“Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, even bloody pets have their days so it seems only fair that we, masters of the dining room, guardians of the sweet trolley, purveyors of smirk and snark and all round good time guys and gals have a day of our own too.”


Quite right Manuel – how can I mark this momentous day?


“Tip a bit more than normal and remember a waiter is for life, not just for a random day in May”


It’s an important message. I think we can all take something from that.


And finally, Stuart Baillie offers one of those typically Northern Irish anecdotes-cum-parables which reminds us never to take life too seriously.


Stuart recalls how, in the early 90’s, Jeff Buckley came to play The Limelight. The rocks star made a few mundane requests for his dressing room. He didn’t ask for much – just 20 sodas or so for after the gig.


The blog records: “After the soundcheck, they look around their dressing room for the soft drinks they had requested. Maybe a few Cokes, a Sprite or a Fanta. They ask for their sodas and an employee happily points to a table overladen with Ormeau bakery's finest.


"There y'go... bacon sodas, cheese sodas, ham sodas, egg sodas, the lot."


Apparently Jeff loved the sodas. I hope he tipped well.


Geoff McGimpsey blogs on Northern Ireland politics and current affairs at

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph